The Changing Face of Retail Bookselling

Moderated by:
Thad McIlroy (
Philip Downer (Front of Store), Jeremy LeBard (ReadCloud), Jack McKeown (Books & Books Westhampton Beach)
Market Broadway South
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(3.50, 2 ratings)

The focus of the bookselling session is not just U.S. but worldwide. The objective: to take inventory of where both online and bricks & mortar stands today, along with some trendlines for the next 12-24 months.

Our perspectives range from independents to chains to the big online retailers in the U.S. and abroad. Panelists will define the key developments from the past year and identify new forces entering the market in 2012 and beyond.

Jack McKeown will present highlights from his recent Verso survey of book buying behavior in the age of the tablet, in a country without Borders.

Photo of Thad McIlroy

Thad McIlroy

Thad McIlroy is an electronic publishing analyst and author based in San Francisco and Vancouver, BC. His site, The Future of Publishing, is the most in-depth on the industry. McIlroy provides consulting services to publishing and media companies, including Apple Computer, Microsoft, Pearson and Xerox.

With over thirty years of experience in the publishing industry (including five years as Program Director for Seybold Seminars), McIlroy is a well-established expert in the technology and marketing issues surrounding electronic publishing, color imaging and the Internet. He has authored a dozen books and over 200 articles on these subjects. McIlroy is on the editorial board of the journal Learned Publishing and the Canadian literary journal, Geist.

Photo of Philip Downer

Philip Downer

Front of Store

Philip Downer is the owner of Front of Store, a consultancy that supports retailers and publishers.

He’s at TOC because he cares about the future of bookstores and reading – not from a Luddite “all change is bad” standpoint, but rather because he believes in working with retailers and publishers to ensure that today’s fundamental (and exciting) changes to format, distribution etc are as positive as possible for readers and the next generation.

Philip was CEO at Borders UK, and has also held senior positions at WH Smith/Waterstone’s (including 2½ years working in the US), as well as spending his formative years in the record business.

In addition to working with retail clients, Philip writes for a number of trade publications, and runs a popular blog. He is a member of the Publishing Advisory Board at Kingston University, London, where he has lectured MA students on “Publishing and Bookselling in the Digital Age”.

Philip has recently published an ebook available to Kindle users entitled “A Year at Front of Store”, which reviews events in retailing and books through 2011.

Photo of Jeremy LeBard

Jeremy LeBard


Jeremy LeBard is the Co-founder of ReadCloud, a company providing a host of solutions for education including social ebook reading software, a white-lable bookstore platform for 200+ bookstores in Australia and New Zealand, and a management and distribution system for educational training material. For the past 10 years Jeremy has specialised in media and technology consulting on multi-million dollar projects for blue-chip companies including HP, Accenture and Microsoft in the Asia Pacific region. He is considered a thought leader in the publishing sector as stated by international publisher and bookseller organisations.

Photo of Jack McKeown

Jack McKeown

Books & Books Westhampton Beach

Jack McKeown is a thiry-year publishing veteran. He currently is co-owner and President of Books & Books Westhampton Beach, a retail bookstore located on the South Fork of Long Island, N.Y. He also serves as Director of Business Development for Verso Digital, and as President of Conemarra Partners, a media consultancy. He co-founded the Perseus Books Group and served as its first President and CEO. Prior to Perseus, he served as President and Publisher of the Adult Trade Group of HarperCollins and Publisher of the Adult Trade Division of Simon & Schuster. He is a graduate of the Univesity of Chicago, and holds an MBA and MS from Columbia University.

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Ingram Content Group
  • codeMantra
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • SPi Global
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Blackboard
  • Bowker
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Innodata
  • Jouve North America
  • MarkLogic
  • Newgen KnowledgeWorks
  • Océ North America
  • Temis
  • Aptara
  • Atex
  • LibreDigital
  • Media Services Group
  • MarkLogic
  • Smashwords, Inc.

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

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